Mythbusters cannonball misses target, blasting through the neighborhood

Mythbusters cannonball misses target, blasting through the neighborhood
A wacky stunt for the TV show "Mythbusters" went haywire Tuesday and sent a cannonball tearing though a sleeping family's home in California.

The occupants miraculously escaped injury.

"It was crazy. That's for sure, "Sgt. JD Nelson of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department told the Daily News." If someone asked me two days ago, 'Could this homemade cannon shoot that far, off a hill into this neighborhood?' I would have said no way. But now it's confirmed. "

He said the popular Discovery Channel show intended to fire the six-inch steel cannonball to test its velocity. It aimed the projectile at huge containers of water meant to absorb the impact on the grounds of the sheriff's bomb disposal range.

But the ball somehow missed its mark, took an unforeseen bounce off a safety berm and barreled into the quiet Tassajara Creek neighborhood of Dublin about 4 pm Tuesday.

That's where the projectile turned into a suburban pinball, bouncing off a sidewalk, blasting through a front door, barreling up some stairs and careening through a bedroom where a man, woman and child were reportedly sleeping.

The cannonball then punched through the home's exterior stucco wall, sailed across a six-lane thoroughfare, ricocheted off the roof of another home and finally crashed through the window of a parked, empty Toyota Sienna minivan, where it came to rest.

"I had just got out of the van five minutes earlier," owner Jasbir Gill, 42, told local media, according to KTVU. "I'm glad my kids weren't inside the van. So lucky."

Sgt. Nelson said dust from the shattered sheetrock woke the sleeping family, not the sound of the ball.

Nelson said the San Francisco-based TV production has insurance coverage, but that the bomb disposal range has been shut down pending a safety review.

He said his department had worked with the producers on about 50 previous experiments.

"This show promotes science. It's one of the reasons we do the show. We believe in the message. But something like this obviously can't happen," Nelson said.

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